tv FOX 29 News Special FOX February 13, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EST
♪ >> good evening. i'm lucy noland. >> i'm iain page fox 29 is proud to be a partner of the children's miracle network hospital. >> and tonight we're sharing inspirational stories spotlighting families overcoming medical challenges. >> here at home local agencies are teaming up to help area families adopt some very special children overseas. it's all part of a two-year campaign to inspire a local couples to think a little outside the box. our jennifer joyce introduces us to a very special little girl. >> reporter: she's a four-year-old bundle of dynamite dynamite. loads of energy, lots of giggles, a contagious spirit. madeleine is settling into life in the u.s. bucks county to be specific.
with the only family she has ever known. >> you love mommy a lot or a little? >> a lot. >> a lot. >> reporter: her adoptive parents stephanie and patrick farley -- >> blessing to have her in our family. >> reporter: big sister amanda and older brother colin. >> she just walked in and she said hi, hi, hi. and everybody just couldn't resist smiling. >> reporter: the last year hasn't been without challenges. madeleine has a mild form of cerebral palsy. >> yummy. can i have some? >> reporter: the farley as donned her from a hospital in china. >> after like 45 minutes of just having her scream at us it just click. >> reporter: they documented the dramatic trip with these pictures. and visited the spot where their little girl was abandoned at just six months old. >> it's just been a miracle to watch her come home and just thrive. >> reporter: jennifer chances
with bethany christian services the agency that help the farley bring madeleine home. bethany is in the middle of a two-year campaign called these 400s. a push to get people to consider special needs adoptions. as more regulations are put into place and many adoption agencies are closing their doors. >> these are kids that are overseas in orphanage that is really have no resources. if agencies aren't going over there and finding families for these kids then they'll stay in those orphanages for their whole life. >> reporter: adoption is a challengeing thing. throw in foreign country and additional special needs and the thought might intimidate you. but bethany christian service has a partnership with chop's international adoption program here at the wood center to provide extra resources for families. dr. susan friedman is the medical director. she says, special needs international adoption is the new normal. >> if parents want to adopt a
healthy child from chain nats usually a six to seven year wait. >> reporter: friedman says chop's program assists families of all types include domestic adoptions and foster care. doctors review a prospective child's medical history. explain to the families what it all means. how it would affect their existing family unit. and help them decide whether or not they're a good match. before they make the trip abroad. >> and support them when they're in countries if a medical crisis arises while they're in country we help them with that. we help them as soon as they pick up that child to start working on attachment. the farleys say the before, during and after adoption services were invaluable. >> there's so many resources at chop. we really felt supported through bethany and through chop. >> at first we were like kind of like nervous about the special
needs thing once we found out that every person technically has some kind of special need. >> thank god we had said yes because if we didn't say yes we could have missed out on her. people say you guys did a great thing by adopting her and it takes us -- it takes us by surprise when they say that, because we feel like we're the ones that are just so blessed to have her as our daughter. >> we know that cost is a big concern when it comes to adoption. bethany like many agencies says if you're interested in, there is grant money you can apply for. there's also attacks credit worth about $13,000 and we have posted links for you on our website at myfoxphilly.com. you know how they say don't judge a book by its cover. well tonight we've got a story of one big fighter packed into the body of a little baby. and fox 29's josephs advance shows us her story shines a light on the importance of the gift of life.
anna lee sutters can fuss a little bit if he wants to but she doesn't cry that much considering the incredible ordeal this little cutie has been through in her short lifetime. when this tough little cookie was born her doctors back home thought she had a little jaundice. not a big deal. things went really downhill in no time. >> they took blood work on a thursday. she was almost three months old. and they called us that day and said it's really bad we want to you come back in. have more blood work. >> she ended up in the emergency room. >> her liver had already tripled in size at that time. you could feel it. >> reporter: she immediately had surgery to repair a rare liver condition bill will he atresia. >> which is where the bile ducts in your liver scar and they don't allow the bile owl of your liver. >> it occurs in about one in 5,000 live births. >> reporter: but the typical
corrective surgery didn't work for anna lease. she need add new liver and fast. >> you can see how even her skin her back, everything, she was yellow. her eye was neon yellow like a glue stick. it was terrible. >> reporter: working with the gift of life donor program and chop transplant doctors anna lease got a donor liver a perfect match perfect out come. so far. >> as soon as they did the transplant the doctor oohed and ahhed how she was no longer yellow. >> now she's going through the regular milestones a what about go through. she has to catch up a little bit both in motor and cognitive skills because during the time she was sick she fell a little bit behind but she's doing great now. >> parents corrine and jerry pinching themselves still. their only little girl is quite a fighter. >> yeah. goose bumps still just talking about it. >> guessing they'll be talking about that for a lifetime. as joyce evans tells us anna lease has three big brothers who are very protective of their
little sister. her parents say she'll be rough housing with them and winning in no time. across the country tens of thousands of babies are born too soon every year. tonight, what group of local doctors and researchers are doing to make premature birth a thing of the past. >> a familiar trying to find hem for their sick little boy thinks the miracle is right here in philadelphia. the overwhelming response to help get little truett here. ♪
♪ in pennsylvania alone 16,000 babies are born too soon every single year. the babies who survive often have to deal with serious life long health issues. but if team of penn and chop doctors and researchers have their way babies born too early will some day become a thing of the past. recently that group and the march of dimes announced a launch of a research center dedicateed to finding out what is behind pre term labor then hopefully zeroing in on treatments. the march of dimes is investing $10 million into the project and
that funds five years of research. 19 month old boy is trying to make his way to philadelphia for critical care. truett of colorado is battling an illness that has him paralyzed from the neck down and as jennifer joyce shows us his doctors thinks doctors here at chop might be able to help report roar this little cutie needs philadelphia love. >> he's a fighter. i mean i'm amazed every day by truett. >> 19 month old truett of denver colorado is paralyzed from the neck down. it could be from complications of the enterovirus which he had as a newborn or it could be genetic. doctors in denver labeled it a mystery illness. >> i was scared and upset and sad. >> reporter: but determined. his mom tells us she did research and found a top doctor at chop who may be able to help her little man. and now the family has regained hope. >> when i got off the phone i cried. i just put my hands on my face and sobbed. >> reporter: and the story gets even brighter. truett needs to fly on a
specially equipped aircraft because he's on a ventilator. it costs more than 30 grand. the family was ready to max out its credit cards but take a look at this. his gofundme page, his flight is now fully paid for and then some some. that surplus will help to cover the family's flights and hotel rooms along with the expenses expenses of two traveling nurses. i talked to his mom over the phone. she's ecstatic and show thankful for the jenn ross of others. she feels that now she and her family have the resources they need to give their brave little boy a fighting chance in philadelphia. >> it's amazing that he can endure what he endures and smile and be happy. >> before coming to philadelphia truett has an appointment at johns hopkins then he'll make his way up here to see a specialist at chop the first week of april. if you had less than year to live how would you spend that time? high school student in detroit is spending it helping
others specifically young children. fox's amy andrews shows us exactly by the young man is an angel on earth. >> my cancer i could die at any second and there's nothing anybody can do about it. >> reporter: doctors say 15 year old connor may not have much time left. >> i was diagnose with carcinoma of the nasal cavity and cranial cavity. it only happens to 60 to 80-year-old men. i'm the only in the united states with this. >> scared to go in the room to wake him up many not knowing if he's going to answer you or he'll be gone. >> reporter: the high school sophomore refuses to let stage four brain cancer slow him down despite the grim prognosis. >> just because you got cancer doesn't mean you can live your live to the fullest every single day. >> reporter: instead of focusing on how sickly chemo makes him or how he can no longer play football connor has decided to spend his days making other children happy. >> all those little kids that
cry and just i can feel their pain because i've gone through so much pain and it's just like it hurts you inside. >> reporter: during his time at children's hospital connor noticed there was one thing that always made little patients feel better when they were struggling struggling. >> when i was in the hospital i'd go in the toy room and everything that's the only place they can go without like -- not thinking about the cancer and everything because they're so little. they don't know what to do. >> reporter: connor says he wants to make sure the kids never run out of things to play with so he organized a toy drive through his school's club. over the span a few weeks they collected close to 4,000 dolls books, trucks, stuffed animals and games. 4,000 ways to help hospitalized children forget their troubles for awhile. >> hopefully they have enough room to store all the toys but so i mean the toys -- there's going to be lot of toys for a lot of years for those kids and it's just going to be amazing.
>> reporter: the manager byron myers says connor's donation is one of the largest he's ever received. >> we have the ability now to give that much more back to our patients and families and without people like connor we wouldn't be -- we don't have the funds and resources so having the community did he nations is amazing. >> reporter: his family and friends are proud of the teenager who once dreamed of becoming an architect or professional baseball player. they say all he wants in return are prayers for a miracle. a couple who lost two of their babies was so worried they were about to lose another. so they came to philadelphia in search of a miracle. the medical experiment that gave their daughter life. >> she's a kid herself and she's already making a difference in others lives. she's knitting away to help newborns make it through some rough first months. how her little brother helped inspire her. ♪
experiment that saved their daughter's life. ♪ >> reporter: with her boots inn kiss si tiff mind and beautiful smile you'd never know 18 month old natalie a medical miracle but it's true. natalie was diagnosed in her mother's womb with an extremely rare condition called generalized arterial calcification of infancy or gaci gaci. a condition where calcium coats the inside of the arteries and ultimately leads to heart failure. natalie's parents ann and giroux knew the concerns all too well. the couple from minnesota has already lost two children to the condition. reid and iain were just weeks old when they died. the third diagnosis took a toll on the family and their three children. >> it was devastating news. because we knew it was potentially a fatal out come. >> reporter: they knew they needed to act fast.
do something different. >> i didn't want to tell my 10-year-old son that i had to try everything that we could try to be able to help his little sister. >> reporter: a google search connected the family with chop. >> i found out chop had a fetal diagnostic center. >> reporter: they traveled to philadelphia. met dr. michael levine and took a chance. >> when i saw her i realized that with two prior babies who had not survived with this diagnosis we had to be a little bit more aggressive. >> reporter: instead of waiting until birth dr. levine immediately put ann on medication to treat natalie's condition in utero. >> our confidence just kept growing because we week after week the calcium was not progressing in her arteries which was just miraculous. >> reporter: it's a medication typically used to treat osteoporosis. >> what we did in this situation was take existing medications off the shelf repurpose them for this particular situation. >> reporter: medical
experiment that ultimately saved this little one's life. on april 8th 2013, natalie was born. her inn know vase tiff care continued. >> after natalie was born, we gave her another drug and we believe it's the first time this drug sodium thigh yo sulphate was used to treat gaci. >> the medication was working. the calcifications were not only staying the same but they were starting to reduce. >> reporter: dr. levine says it appears in natalie is all clear of the genetic condition. she's 18 months old and as happy as can be. and her parents tell us they've learned a few lifeless sons along the way. >> ♪ >> you have a past of bad experiences. it's choosing not to let that paralyze you. >> the family are big believers of hope and faith and now also big believers in chop doctors. >> we knew coming that there was no guarantee. we knew that but just even to be a place for the physicians were willing to think outside the box
box, and brainstorm and work together as a powerful team, it was just an mazing feeling to know we get to see hope every day. >> yeah. and our little daughter. >> reporter: jennifer joyce fox 29 news. >> love those little laughs. all right. she's only eight years old and she's already making a huge difference. why this little girl is busy making hundreds of hats with her
♪ eight yeared girl is taken up a hobby most children don't think about. that is knitting. >> she's knitting little hats for a reason. they're for tiny babies at the very place that saved her brother's life. fox 29's jennifer joyce has the heart-warming story. >> i want tonight 100 hats to take to chop. i just want babies to feel warm. >> reporter: eight year old selena of horsham has taken up a new hobby. >> keeps me busy and i'm happy when i do it. >> reporter: her little yet determined hands are knitting hundreds of hats for newborns at chop and other local hospitals this holiday season. >> it makes a difference in a small baby's life that was premie, sick with cancer. >> reporter: her brother is her inspiration. he was born two months early and underwent procedures at chop. each time he came home -- >> selena always loved the hat that he had.
>> he had a new cozy comfy warm hat on his head. >> i really don't know. just something made me feel happy about it. and so i decided to start doing it myself. >> reporter: selena's mother natasha says she tries to teach her children to pay their fortune forward. >> my husband and i have good jobs so we can get them whatever they need so we decided whenever we have birthday parties for the kids um, that anyone who brings a present we would donate the presents. >> reporter: a stack of birthday toys sitting in the living room ready to be dropped off to children who may not have a present to open this holiday season. >> i have a good life, and i want others those that don't like maybe they've had hard times so i just want them to feel happy too. >> reporter: it's the time of year when many people give back. selena says she hopes to make it an all year round gesture. it makes her young heart happy and she thinks it could do the same for you.
>> i really think everyone should try to make difference because it will help the world in some way. she has really big big heart. so um i think she's she'll do great thing with it some day. >> a big heart and words of wisdom x great story. good for her. >> we want to you thank you for joining us tonight for this children's near raquel network hospital special. >> if you would like more information on these stories or how you can get involved head to becomes myfoxphilly.com and look under the health tab. have yoursrs
>> today on "tmz" -- >> oh, kids. kim kardashian took north west to a big fashion show and this kid had a meltdown. why take a kid when you know the kid's going to cry? >> take them until they're upset and get them out of there. >> that's like saying you bring a dog to a place until the dog bites, then you remove him. >> it's not a dog, it's his daughter. >> jay z and beyonce in new york. the crowd erupts. [screaming] you know how you know beyonce is the bigger star of the two? adam embarrassed himself. jay comes in, he's like, yo, jay, what's up? when beyonce walks in, adam goes -- beyonce beyonce remember me!